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bar news and views
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499: AGAVE
498: Miss Sixty Café
497: The Pink Cow
496: Cantik
495: Billiard Bar Cosmo
494: Soma
493: Hajime
492: Rm.39
491: Coopers
490: Bar Nemesis
489: Franziskaner Bar & Grill
488: NOS
487: Diego
486: Sekirei
485: Bonny Butterfly
484: So Ra Si O
483: Maduro
482: Space Punch
481: Cento Cose
480: Bamboo
479: Heartland
478: Sign
477: Yoshino
476: Omamori Cafe
475: So Bar
474: Traumaris
473: Naka Naka
472: Tsuki no Akari
471: Bar
470: These
469: Atomic Heart Mother
468: Soft
467: Milano Bar
466: Mother
465: Omocha
464: Insomnia 2
463: Lucusfloor
462: Pulse
461: Mahna Mahna
460: Ten
459: Trees'
457/8: Mayu
456: Lounge Sinner
454: Ja Ja Bar
453: See
452: Republica
451: Shanghai Bar
450: Tsuki no Kura

Issues 500+
Issues 449-
Issues 399-


by Stephen Cotterill


We've noticed recently that a lot of bars are spilling out on to the street in Tokyo. From Ginza to Shibuya, drinkers have been crawling out of darkened watering holes and blinking bug-eyed at the night lights and neon as they sit perched at pavement counters and tables. Like startled rats, we too found ourselves roadside on the spacious terrace of Cantik.

This Asian fusion joint sits on the appropriately nicknamed "Wired Street" running from Shibuya to Daikanyama alongside the JR train tracks. Unused to this terrible daylight, we nervously found our places on the bare wood deck and sank into the drinks menu. We started off with a round of bottled Guinness (¥750) with Awamori chasers (¥550-¥650), and some of us couldn't resist the Cinzano half and half (¥700), which mixed dry and sweet varieties. Cantik also does a range of intriguing world fusion dishes, such as duck from Spain with raw ham (¥850) and squid ravioli gyoza-style (¥860). Bizarre yet tasty, we found.

Having fired the synapses on shochu, we settled in to some pointless debate, which rather comically got interrupted by the Yamanote line train thundering past every three minutes. This may seem like a disadvantage, but not only does it provide respite from yet another discussion about which Star Wars character we would be if we were cast in the film, but it yields bare moments of insight into the capital's goings-on, as passengers mill on the platform or shoot by in carriages oblivious of being watched.

As for our fellow customers, Cantik attracts a healthy, polite crowd of office ladies, love-love couples and other assorted twenty-somethings. Things are unlikely to get chaotic, unless you count holding hands as being too rowdy.

As the afternoon slipped by alcoholically, we discovered from the menu that Cantik is pronounced "chantik" in Indonesian, meaning "beautiful," and that they want us "to have a chantik time!" So we did. Cantik is more café than bar, epitomized by the Café Del Mar CD constantly spinning over the speakers, and although perhaps not for hardened drinkers, it's a perfect place for an autumn afternoon retreat from the Shibuya bustle and the Daikanyama trend brigade.

4-17 Sakuragaoka-cho, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-5728-6228. Open daily 11am-2am. Nearest stn: Shibuya.

Photos by Martin Hladik

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